New Zealand, here we come!

Well, it has been an exciting week of planning for Alycat’s Walkabout! There is so much I am excited about, I hardly know where to start.

Our first big announcement is that we have added a week in New Zealand to the trip! After doing a great deal of research and speaking with friends who live in that part of the world, it was determined that skipping New Zealand was not an option.
It was something I had been kicking around for a while. Wanting to maximize my time with the organizations in Australia made me somewhat hesitant to include New Zealand. Would I be able to spend enough time in New Zealand to really help a few nonprofits? If not, would it make sense to fly over there and take time away from groups that I had already promised help to? I wasn’t sure what to do.

Last week while working at REI, a wonderful couple visiting from New Zealand came in. We got to chatting as I was outfitting them for boots. They went on and on about how different New Zealand was from Australia and how incredible the hiking and biking are. They rattled off a list of nonprofit groups that they believed deserved the time and help. “You would be foolish not to go!” Really, how could I argue with that? So for the second time this year, I came home from REI and informed my husband that I was going to another country.

We are in the process of contacting organizations that were referred to us. If you happen to know of any that promote outdoor recreation or conservation efforts, please let us know!

Our second big accomplishment this week: we bought our plane tickets! This was a HUGE check off the “to do” list for me. For the first time, I really felt the magnitude of this trip. I AM REALLY DOING THIS! There is no backing out or turning around. I am really going, and I am really going to have a positive impact on some great organizations.

I was also once again reminded of just how lucky I am to be married to my husband. He has been so supportive of this project from the beginning. From the first moment when I came home from REI with this crazy idea to three days of me interrupting him at work to plan out plane tickets, he has been nothing but smiles. (I’m sure knowing that he’ll be coming over to help me complete a few projects toward the end of my trip has a little something to do with it).

Planning out our flights has been a challenge. We will be going over at different times but coming back together. I had to make sure that the projects I wanted Nathan’s help on were scheduled for the time he was going to be with me. We had to work within Nathan’s available time off from work (anyone who works in baseball know there is no offseason!). Finally, and most importantly, we had to work around Nathan’s birthday: the big 3-0. His birthday falls right in the middle of the month, right when he was looking to fly out. I was stressing over how to get him out to Australia with enough time but avoid making him fly on his birthday. Well, it ended up working out that my husband will be in the air instead of celebrating with friends. In fact, he is going to completely miss his birthday altogether: taking off the day before his birthday and landing the morning after. He seems to think that means he can stay 29 for another year. I’m not quite sure it works like that though.

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Follow along the journey


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